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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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16 June 2014

Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone
JK Rowling
Publication Date
26 June 1997


Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!

My review

This won't be so much of a review, but more like.. I would like to chat about the book. I hear you… you are saying: "Isn't that what a review is?" 

I actually remember the first time that I can across Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone. I was on the bus, on my way to work, and a group of children, I would guess about 10-12 years old, where all reading the book and all chatting excitedly over it, discussing this and that detail. Now this was rather unusual - children discussing a book, and not whilst sitting in lessons or in the library, but actually out of school, in their leisure time. However, this didn't tempt me back than (was it around 1997/98) to buy the book, as it was obviously a children's fantasy book and that was not something I would normally read. I finally read it last year.

The book is beautifully written and at the same time, very accessible for children just starting out to get into reading a bit more seriously. At the same time, the first book is not too long. JK Rowling obviously has a very vivid imagination. All the things she comes up with, described beautifully and in details. The platform 9 3/4, the owls who deliver the letters, the stairs which change direction, Quidditch … too many things to mention. The other brilliant skill she has is to make it all understandable. She obviously didn't know at the start that there is going to be movies and she manages to make this completely 'strange' fantasy world come alive to us. 

One of the best things for me is that this book made a huge difference to children's reading and encouraged whole generations to pick up books and that is for me the real legacy of Harry Potter.

Personally - for me it was a children's book and for my own reading, I prefer a more 'adult' world if that is the right thing to say. Not adult as in erotic, but prefer to have adult protagonists. 

While it was an enchanting book, reading book 1 did not want me to continue reading the series to see how it continues with the boy wizard. But I did. And that is the story for another review.